If you own a trucking company, commercial truck insurance is one of the best ways to protect your drivers and your business in the event of an accident. If your small business is finally ready to purchase commercial truck insurance, check out these four important facts to help you make the decision easier and keep your premiums low.
You're Responsible for Your Employees Actions
When your employee causes a car accident while on the job, you are held liable and can be sued (unless the employee was performing an illegal act other than a traffic violation), which is why having commercial truck insurance is important and required by law. You are held accountable in more ways than you may realize. First, you can be held responsible due to vicarious liability. In this instance, if your employee is driving for work-related reasons, you are responsible because they are following your orders.
However, you can also be found liable due to employer negligence. Basically, it's your job as the employer to hire competent drivers who will follow the rules of the road. If they don't, it's your fault for not doing your due diligence to find safe drivers. You can also be held responsible due to negligent supervision if you don't do enough to promote and ensure safe driving, such as posting policies and loading/weighing cargo properly.
Liability Insurance Isn't Always Enough
Liability insurance is designed to protect others and covers damages if your driver causes an accident or damages. Bobtail insurance is optional coverage and very beneficial. It protects the truck when it is being used for non-trucking uses, such as returning home after making a delivery. Motor truck cargo insurance protects the actual cargo from damage or theft. Lastly, physical damage coverage is designed to protect the truck in the event of a peril, such as fire or flood.
Liability insurance is the only one required by law, but the benefits to choosing the other polices are clear. While liability insurance is designed to protect others from your driver, the other policies are there to protect your driver and your assets: the truck and the cargo. If either is damaged and you don't have appropriate coverage, your business may go under trying to cover the loss.
Many Factors Affect Your Premiums
Commercial truck insurance is expensive because the trucks themselves are expensive. Just like regular insurance, however, there are many factors that affect your premiums. If your premiums are out of control, look at your drivers. Drivers with more speeding fines and traffic offences in recent years cost more to insure because they are more dangerous on the road. Another common reason for high premiums is keeping your trucks in risky areas, such as those with a high crime rate.
Unfortunately, some factors that affect your premiums are more difficult to change, especially if you're just starting out. The age and condition of your trucks affects the premiums, but you may not be able to afford new trucks with better safety features. Lastly, the radius of operation also affects your premiums, and scaling back may prove impossible, especially for long-haul trucking companies.
There Are Excellent Ways to Save Money
Even if you can't change your radius of operation or afford new trucks, there are still some great ways to save money on your premiums. For starters, stay loyal to one company. While shopping around is important, loyalty is rewarded with discounts, especially if you insure your entire fleet through the same provider.
You can also increase your deductibles to help reduce your premiums, but don't increase them so high you can't afford them. Lastly, prove you are committed to safety by running a safety program for your drivers or creating a maintenance plan for your fleet.
Commercial truck insurance is expensive, but important to protect your asset. If you're ready to protect your fleet, contact an insurance company in your area today and get a quote. You can also click here to find out more.